“It was a very smooth labour and a textbook delivery by Kiraka, that the team and I had the privilege of viewing from our camera monitoring system before going into the giraffe house to continue monitoring them. It’s been a long 15-month pregnancy for Kiraka during which time she put on an extra 100kg, and with this recent heat and humidity, we’ve no doubt she was very pleased to be finally giving birth!” says Auckland Zoo Ungulates team leader, Tommy Karlsson.
“Having had four other offspring, Kiraka is an experienced mother, and just as she is demonstrating with this latest calf, she’s always extremely attentive and protective. She also has this wonderfully calm nature that has a very positive, relaxing influence on her offspring.
With the assistance of Tommy and his colleagues, the Zoo’s veterinary team were able to carry out a health check on the newborn yesterday and confirm the sex, as well as check on Kiraka’s health.
At this early stage Kiraka and her calf are primarily staying inside the giraffe house, but Kiraka could choose to bring her calf into the adjoining outdoor yard for short periods during the day, so visitors might potentially catch a glimpse of her.
“The rest of the herd, including this newborn calf’s dad Billy (5) will be out in the Africa Safari Track habitat with the zebra and ostrich. However, there might also be times in the day when they venture inside to check on how Kiraka and her calf are doing.